SAGE Journal Articles
Explore full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in the chapter.
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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray used May Day 2014 to announce that business and labor had agreed to a historic plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Seattle’s bold measure is a part of a growing wave of activism and local legislation around the country to help lift the working poor out of poverty. The gridlock in Washington—where Congress has not boosted the federal minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 an hour, since 2009—has catalyzed a growing movement in cities and states.
When women work in male-dominated professions, they encounter a “glass ceiling” that prevents their ascension into the top jobs. Twenty years ago, I introduced the concept of the “glass escalator,” my term for the advantages that men receive in the so-called women’s professions (nursing, teaching, librarianship, and social work), including the assumption that they are better suited than women for leadership positions. In this article, I revisit my original analysis and identify two major limitations of the concept: (1) it fails to adequately address intersectionality; in particular, it fails to theorize race, sexuality, and class; and (2) it was based on the assumptions of traditional work organizations, which are undergoing rapid transformation in our neoliberal era. The glass escalator assumes stable employment, career ladders, and widespread support for public institutions (e.g., schools and libraries)—which no longer characterize the job market today. Drawing on my studies of the oil and gas industry and the retail industry, I argue that new concepts are needed to understand workplace gender inequality in the 21st century.